The Canadian Federation of Students developed the “No Means No” campaign almost twenty years ago to raise awareness and to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault, acquaintance rape, and dating violence. The “No Means No” campaign consists of various materials, including research on the incidences of sexual violence in Canada, buttons, stickers, posters and postcards.
“No Means No” recognizes that as long rape and rape culture persist in our communities, our campuses will remain inaccessible. Students have the right to feel safe and secure on their campus, and that right is taken away when sexualized violence continues to occur. “No Means No” encourages a no-tolerance attitude towards sexualized violence and harassment, and aims to educate and promote discussion surrounding sexualized violence and enthusiastic consent.
The campaign continues to be widely popular on campuses and in the wider community where thousands of materials are ordered every year and circulated across Canada. No Means No has succeeded in changing the culture surrounding acquaintance rape and dating violence in Canada.
Today, thanks in large part to public education provided through the No Means No campaign, people have a greater understanding of their rights and responsibilities in sexual relationships. However, date rape and dating violence continues to occur on campuses and in our communities requiring the Federation to continue promoting this campaign.
If you are interested in engaging with the No Means No campaign in Nova Scotia, please get in touch with your local students’ union representative. If you are interested in ordering No Means No materials for your organization, please email email@example.com
NO MEANS NO IN ACTION – 2013
In September 2013, a video was leaked showing orientation week leaders from the Saint Mary’s Student Association leading a chant that encouraged sexual violence against women. The response to this chant promoting rape culture on campus was widespread and instant condemnation from across Nova Scotia. The Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia worked with the Saint Mary’s Women’s Centre to provide free No Means No materials across the Saint Mary’s University Campus.
CFS-NS continued working throughout the fall with the Saint Mary’s Women’s Centre, member locals, and coalition partners such as the South House Sex and Gender Resource Centre to hold Halifax’s first ever take back the campus. This event, modeled on Take Back the Night which had been held in prior years, was a demonstration of solidarity among students and the wider Halifax community that rape culture would not be tolerated on our campuses.